The Crooked Fiddle Band have built a reputation as one of Australia’s most intense live music experiences. Delivering high-octane future-folk, this Sydney-based violin-led quartet twists trad folk and progressive influences into intense cinematic soundscapes with medieval battle-axe climaxes, transforming dance floors into post-apocalyptic hoe-downs. Following three tours to Europe/UK, the band recorded their second epic album “Moving Pieces of the Sea” in Chicago with Steve Albini (Nirvana, The Pixies, Gogol Bordello, Jonanna Newsom).
“Mind-blowing, face-melting, jaw-dropping, head-spinning.” ~ The Music
“When The Crooked Fiddle Band took to the stage, it was as though someone had put 10,000 volts through the dance floor.” ~ BEAT
“…completely surprising. The music is original and quixotic, and yet has the strength of some deep and strong roots. I can’t say I’ve ever heard anything else like it!.” ~ Brian Eno
Jug band blues and lunatic on-stage antics combine as a new-vaudevillian comedy cabaret. Audiences know Mic Conway’s tongue-in-cheek style from “Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band” and “Circus Oz” . The National Junk Band are certainly a festival favourite, from Woodford Folk Festival and Port Faity to Adelaide Cabaret Festival and BluesFest, wowing audiences of all ages with their unique collision of illusion, magic, fire, musical mayhem and some very funny songs. Their new album “Diagonally Parked in a Parallel Universe” has inspired new tricks, new costumes, even new old jokes. Wielding National guitars, ukuleles, a sousaphone, phono-fiddle, actual garbage cans and metal sinks, flying chooks and singing saws, these rhythmagicians must be seen to be believed.
In a circus of comedy, music and magic, Mic Conway and flat-picking guitar champion Robbie Long present an hilarious array of idiosyncratic songs that will make your jaw drop, toes tap and sides split. Best known for his tongue-in-cheek humour as lead singer of The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band, there’s also juggling, fire-eating, magic and mayhem. Stripped back, irreverent, and shameless… this is surreal vaudeville for crooning and swooning.
Based in Sydney, Australia, Conway was born into a family of vaudeville theatre and opera singers. In the 1970s, he and his brother were founding members of CIRCUS OZ. Mic has toured across Australia, Britain, Germany, USA, New Zealand and Asia delighting audiences of all ages. He has written and recorded many albums and worked in theatre, music, cabaret, television and film. He is also front man for the 5-piece ensemble – Mic Conway’s National Junk Band.
Enchanting songsmith and acoustic guitarist, Leroy Lee creates intimate and hypnotic lamp-lit tunes, drawing the listener into his unique world. From driving guitar riffs to intricate finger-picking melodies, Leroy is reminiscent of English folk legends like Nick Drake and Bert Jansch. His EP “Arcadia“ is an intuitive brew, weaving poetic metaphors around everyday experience, transporting us with intricate melodic textures … surprising us with his turns of phrase and sonicly rich guitar landscapes – twisting and turning, leading us on an intimate journey of surprise and intrigue.
Named Triple J’s “Unearthed” winner in 2007. Leroy has toured with Glen Hansard (The Swell Season), Missy Higgins, Lisa-Marie Presley, Lior, Folk Uke, Steve Poltz, Kaki King, Lisa Mitchell and Jeff Lang. Festival appearances include: Woodford Folk Festival, Peats Ridge, Queenscliff Music Festival and Cygnet and The National Folk Festivals.
David Bridie has been pushing boundaries in the Australian music scene for many years. The award winning songwriter and composer has enjoyed a distinguished career as one of Australia’s most innovative artists. Whether as an international soundtrack composer; a leading expert on and producer of Melanesian music; as a uniquely Australian songwriter and piano player; and as singer with bands Not Drowning, Waving and My Friend the Chocolate Cake – Bridie has certainly stamped his mark. His songs are intelligent observations of the Australian experience, ranging from wry – and often bleak – comments on the politics of daily life to the beauty of a simple love song.
Don McGlashan (The Mutton Birds, The Front Lawn) is one of NZ’s foremost songwriters. He delivers his songs – extraordinary tales of ordinary lives – with vulnerability, grace and hope, conjuring transcendent moments, navigating us through breath-taking beauty, the dark and the deep. He has worked with Paul Kelly, Crowded House, Johnny Marr, Wilco and members of Radiohead; scored many feature films including Jane Campion’s “An Angel At My Table”, received two Silver Scroll awards and five of his compositions are in APRA’s “100 Best NZ Songs of All Time”.
His acclaimed new album “Lucky Stars” is a rich collection of highly personal songs exploring love, regret and mortality, infused with optimism and a deep joy.
“A masterclass in song craft… with an inner world all his own.”
★★★★½ ~ Rolling Stone.
“Poetic honesty… shared with compassion. Quite exceptional.”
★★★★ ~ Stack
“No one else gets close to writing songs like that, and making them work.”
~ Metro Mag
“An absolute pleasure.” ★★★★½ ~ SMH / The Age
ARIA award winning ensemble Zulya and The Children of the Underground conjure exquisite original music presented in transformative concerts. Haunting and nuanced, Zulya’s smouldering vocals enriched by accordion, trumpet, guitar, double bass and percussion transport the listener to another realm: a scene from an Emir Kusturica film, a basement cafe in Moscow circa 1955, a circus band playing the funeral of the fallen trapeze artist, Berlin between the wars.
VulgarGrad bring you the old songs of the Russian thieves (blatnie pesny or blatnyak), along with punk classics of the Perestroika era: raucous drinking songs, melancholy waltzes, manic oompah and hot swing from the Cold War.
The band arose in Melbourne in 2004 out of a collaboration between some of Australia’s best musicians in underground ethnic styles and the incredible vocal talents of one Australia and Poland’s most formidable stage and screen actors, Jacek Koman (Children of Men, Moulin Rouge, Romulus My Father, Australia). Be prepared for gun-slinging, vodka-swilling, foul-mouthed disorder, and watch out for the biggest, most triangular instrument around, the contrabass balalaika. Theatrical, hilarious and dangerous, you will dance or the trumpeter will shoot you!
Inquisitive, playful and imaginative, this acclaimed Danish 5-piece takes an anarchic approach to traditional musical structures. Winners of Danish Music Awards for “Best World Album of the Year” and “Contemporary Folk Artist”, Afenginn has built up a world wide reputation for their virtuosity and dynamic live shows fuelled by great joy and seeking to cross borders and push limits. Formed in Copenhagen in 2002, the ensemble festures mandolin, clarinets, drums, bass and violin, with compositions ranging from the lyrical and cinematic to charismatic and wild dance tunes, always maintainging a rhythmic and melodic finesse which is distinctively Afenginn. Winners of Danish Music Awards for “Best World Album of the Year” and “Contemporary Folk Artist”, Afenginn made their first appearance in Australia in early 2014, holding audiences of all ages in the palms of their hands, receiving standing ovations wherever they went.
Limitlessly creative and playful, “The Opposite of Everything” dances down a line between the beautiful and the absurd, transforming Freeman-Fox’s intricate violin compositions into an infectious party. Winners of three Canadian Folk Music Awards, the ensemble features Toronto’s finest and most adventurous musicians. Continually redefining what the violin is capable of, Jaron has fused his fiddling roots with a study of jazz and Indian classical music. At age 14, he began an apprenticeship with Canadian fiddle pioneer Oliver Schroer, which lasted until Shroer’s death in 2008. Jaron has been playing his mentor’s custom 5-string violin since. In seven busy years, the outfit has performed across North America, UK, Australia and Europe.
They return to Australia in January 2017.
Irish dynamite Wallis Bird’s expressive vocals and driving guitar rhythms are being compared to artists like Ani DiFranco, Fiona Apple or the young Janis Joplin. Her exceptional voice moves from delicate whispers to explosive power songs, while her music fuses elements of traditional folk music, blues and funk with an energetic handmade rock sound. Now based in Berlin, in the last 7 years Bird has played over 600 shows in Europe and won two Irish Music Awards (Meteor award). Her refreshingly honest, passion and self-effacing manner has endeared her to audiences worldwide.
“Frank and endearingly tender, a tsunami of emotion… Magnificent.”
~ MOJO, UK
“The sheer visceral energy of Wallis Bird could kick-start an entire economy.”
~ Irish Times
“It’s her humour and bold honesty that makes Bird so special.”
~ The Guardian, UK
This 8-piece ska band from Amsterdam explodes onto the stage, delivering their super-charged shows with zeal, heart and soul. Performing like their lives depended on it, they take audiences by storm, whipping themselves and all within earshot into a joyous frenzy aimed straight at flailing limbs and dancing feet!
First Australian tour ~ March 2017, performing at Port Fairy Folk Festival and Blue Mountains Music Festival.